Lisbon, the westernmost city in Europe is the largest city in Portugal and is its capital. It has a municipal population of about 600,000 and a metropolitan population of over 2m. It is the political and economic centre of Portugal and the region is by far the wealthiest in the country.
It is believed that Lisbon is over 3000 years old and was occupied by Julius Caesar in 240BC when it was already 1000 years old. Since then it has been ruled by Germanic tribes, and later the Moors, who ruled it for three hundred years or so, until it was recaptured by the Crusaders in the year 1147.
Getting to Lisbon
We have a guide to airlines and flights to Portugal on this site, as well as a guide to travelling to Portugal by train. Many cruise ships stop at Lisbon due its location and on a visit there you are likely to see some of the largest cruise ships in the world.
Getting around Lisbon
A must-have for any visitor to Lisbon is the Lisbon Card. It offers free or discounted entrance to most of the museums of Lisbon as well as free public transport. Available in 24 (16 Euros), 48 (27 Euros), or 72 hour (33.50) versions, it provides visitors to Lisbon with an easy, organised and useful way to get to know the city. Children aged 5-11 are half-price. They can be bought at the “Ask Me” Tourism kiosk at the airport arrivals or at several locations around the city. www.askmelisboa.com
At the same time you can get a restaurant card which offers 10-20% discount at up to 40 restaurants around town.
The Metro and Buses and run every day from 06:30 to 24:00
Currency. The local currency is the Euro.
Health. If you need the hospital in Lisbon make sure you have an EHIC card. If you don’t, get one from www.ehic.org – it will save you a lot of bother if the worst happens.
Things to do in Lisbon
A UNESCO World Heritage building, Belem’s Tower was built by 16th Century Architect Francisco Arruda. Entry is from 10:00 – 17:30. Lisboa Card Entry.
Close to the Belem Tower is the Discoveries Monument completed in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator, promoter of the discoveries. Entry with Lisboa Card from 10:00 – 19:00.
St Georges Castle
The medieval castle gives panoramic views over Lisbon, with the Tower of Ulysses Camera Obscura.
Another UNESCO World Heritage building, which commemorates the Portugese discoveries. Inside is the tomb of Vasco da Gama. Open from 10:00 – 17:30. Entry with Lisboa Card.
Mafra National Palace
A majestic 18th century palace. It’s precious library and collection of Italian sculptures, set of bells and six organs are unique. Open 10:00 – 16:30 with Lisboa Card.
Ajuda National Palace
Neoclassical building started in 1796 and was the official residence of the Portugese Royal Family until 1910. See inportant artworks from the 18th and 19th centuries. Use Lisboa card to visit 10:00 – 17:30.
A romantic Palace filled with art works and souvenirs of royalty. Open 09:45 – 19:00. Use Lisboa Card.
A former royal palace with a captivating mixture of Mudejar, Maueline, and Renaissance architecture. Open 10:00 – 17:30. Entry with Lisboa Card.
Where to stay in Lisbon
**** As Janelas Verdes
Hotel As Janelas Verdes is situated in the romantic “Rua das Janelas Verdes”, which is near the Museo Nacional de Arte Antiguo (National Museum of Antique Art) and also in close proximity of the river Tagus. It is our top recommended hotel for Lisbon, based on it’s excellent service.
**** York House Hotel
This hotel is a gem, with perfect rooms, excellent service and a quirky location above the road in an exclusive part of Lisbon. Offers excellent value for money.
**** Britania Hotel
The Britania is genuine Art Deco building with the hotel being part of a family-owned chain that prides itself on looking after their customers. Must be considered.